Web Archiving as Legal Tool

by Chirag Verma on July 03, 2015

How Web Archiving Can Be Your Most Powerful Legal Tool

Web and social media archiving have become indispensable for companies that need to comply with retention regulations like those Freedom of Information laws to preserve their online records and conversations. Web and social media archives are also key for companies in litigious industries, as the use of online content is becoming ever more common as evidence in court cases.

Besides being used as a defensive tool against regulation and litigation, web archiving can also be used proactively for many legal applications. The ability to capture an exact copy of ANY published digital content and store it in a searchable and secure database has unexpected legal advantages. Consider unleashing the potential of digital data capture in the following ways:

  • Early case assessments: Companies can peruse archives to determine the potential liability of cases before they go to court (e.g., wrongful termination, online harassment, etc.)

  • Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: According to Rule 34, responding parties must produce requested information within 30 days. Searchable archives simplify this process for web content.

  • Web content dispute resolution: Using archives, companies can quickly resolve disputes concerning website content, domain names, or false claims -- saving time and money.

  • Online error management: In dealing with mistakenly published content (e.g., products listed for the wrong price), companies can use archives to easily identify the time frame of the mistake and quickly resolve claims relating to it.

  • Monitoring of offending parties: Archiving the web content of offending parties provides a digital portfolio of information about the opposition, and provides evidence for cases relating to web content (e.g., copyright infringement).

  • Protecting digital assets: Snapshots of web content can be filed with regulators like the US Trademark Office to create a digital record of a company’s online assets.

The great thing about archiving is that you can “set it and forget it”. Determine what websites or social media you need to capture for your legal advantage, then let the technology work for you. A good archiving solution will enable you to capture only specific pages or URL paths -- saving storage space and money. Make sure your archives are marked with a digital timestamp and signature to ensure their admissibility in court. Then you can enjoy the legal edge that web and social media archiving can provide for your company.


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